Taking Submissions: Ghoulish Tales Issue 4

Deadline: June 30th, 2024
Payment: 10 cents per word
Theme: Fun horror that aims to celebrate all things spooky
Note: Only considering fiction and non-fiction from writers who have never been published before

Hello, ghouls! We are thrilled to announce that we are, once again, reading submissions for a new issue of our magazine Ghoulish Tales. This will be for our fourth issue. Issue 3 is in the process of being finalized and will come out next month. We strongly encourage you to subscribe now so you don’t miss it once it’s available.

Plus, if you are not already familiar with the style & tone of the magazine, we highly encourage you to read one of our previous issues. Beginning this weekend, we will also start posting past stories on GHOULISH.RIP and our newsletter for free.

With this new issue—Issue 4—we are doing something slightly different with our open call. This time, we are only considering fiction and non-fiction from writers who have never been published before.We want to see work from new writers only. I suppose you could call this the New Ghouls issue.

Again, just to clarify: We only want writers who have never been published before, either in physical media or digital. Self-publishing counts as having been published—but we’re reasonable ghouls. If you simply posted a story on your blog or something, or perhaps printed out some DIY zine that you only shared with friends or whatever, you may still submit. Use common sense and, if in doubt, send us an email at [email protected] to state your case. This is just something we’re trying to do to help spotlight new writers and get their spooky feet in the door, right? No need for any of us to stress out too much about loop holes or technicalities. Also, if you’ve recently sold a work elsewhere, but it hasn’t come out yet, you may submit as long as the piece isn’t scheduled to be published until after October 2024 (which is when this issue of Ghoulish Tales is scheduled to come out).

Also note that this guideline is only for this specific issue of Ghoulish Tales. We will consider work from all writers again when we reopen for Issue 5 in October.

With that out of the way, here is what we are after: short stories that fit our personal definition of the word GHOULISH, which is “fun horror that aims to celebrate all things spooky.” Note that we said fun, not funny. Comedic stories are definitely allowed, but it’s not all we’re looking to receive. We want stories that remind us why we love the horror genre. We want to have a perverted little smile across our face while reading. Make us slobber like idiots. Turn us into the Sickos.jpeg meme. We love body horror. We love weird shit. We love experimental, gutsy narratives. We love being ghoulish.


  • Stories that have utilized AI technology.
  • Stories from the POV of cops or detectives.
  • Stories that are more science fiction than horror.
  • Stories that are more comedy than horror.
  • Stories from the POV of serial killers.
  • Stories where the big reveal is Surprise! Cannibalism!
  • Stories about clowns, crabs, or pizza.
  • Stories that rely on religious mythology.
  • Stories with cutesy or pun titles, or stories that rely on puns for the plot to work.
  • Stories that begin with someone waking up, stuck in traffic, knocking at the door, or receiving a phone call.

We are also interested in non-fiction about the horror genre. Think less “personal anecdotes” and more “researched essays about topics within the realm of the genre.”


  • Deadline: June 30, 2024 (11:59 PM CST)
  • Who can submit: New writers only
  • Word count: 5,000 max (short stories); 2,000 max (non-fiction)
  • Payment: 10c per word
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Yes
  • Multiple Submissions: No (Please only submit one story per open call. If we reject you, do not resubmit until we reopen for the next issue.)
  • Reprints: No
  • AI Submissions: No. Please note if you are caught sending us an AI story, you will be blacklisted from ever publishing with us in the future. Don’t do it.

How to submit: Send all stories & essays to [email protected] with [TITLE] – [ LAST NAME] – [STORY/ESSAY] – [WORD COUNT] in the subject line. Please do not copy/paste the story in the body of the email. We prefer Word doc attachments if possible. All inquiries can also be directed to the same address.

In the meantime, please consider subscribing to our FREE newsletter, which is where we will first post any updates regarding our open call. And, if you happen to also enjoy reading horror magazines, here’s the link to subscribe to the magazine.

As you wait, feel free to come hang out in the GHOULISH discord with 1,000+ other likeminded ghouls.

Thank you and good luck!

Via: Ghoulish Books.

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